9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN19 Sociology of Professions

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 The Impact of Changes in the Institutional Matrix Building I, Auditório 2

The Specific Professional Conflicts of Teachers and Doctors within the Portuguese Reform of the Public Administration and Civil Service

The conflicts that arise from the application of the not-so-new ?new managerialism? to public administration and public services can be revealing of the stakes of existing patterns of professional organization. Their outcomes also determine the contours of new patterns of professional relations. The Portuguese Reform of Public Administration, as carried out by the Socialist Party government since 2005, inspired by ideas and experiences of ?new public management?, has proceeded through radical changes in the models of organization and employment relations encompassing the sector as a whole and has also entailed specific measures of restructuring for the ?special corps? of professionals and civil servants in various state and public services. The specific reforms imply the adaptation of the general ?private sector?-inspired principles of the Reform of Public Administration to the particular professional cases. As required by the relevant legislation, the changes in career statutes and employment conditions have involved additional negotiation with the union representatives of the professional employees. The process of proposition and reaction and conflict that characterizes these negotiations has revealed differing capacities of public-sector professions to resist managerialist encroachment upon their autonomies and powers. In this paper we will present and analyze the relevant measures of the general Reform and their specific adaptation to the sectors of public education and hospitals with regard to the employment relations and careers of teachers and doctors. Both these cases have produced significant conflict between these professional groups and their union representatives and the government and demonstrate distinct issues related to the application of new management principles and new career logics to professional bodies in the public sector as well as unequal capacities for professional resistance and affirmation.